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Eating Disorder: Food And The Real World

Eating Disorder: Food And The Real World

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Published by: sharewik on Apr 23, 2010
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04/23/2010

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Eating Disorder: Food And The Real WorldBy Dina ZeckhausenI can hear the police sirens and honking cabs as Jamie walks quickly down Santa MonicaBoulevard, trying to find a quiet place to talk on her lunch break. I sit in a comfortable chairin my quiet Atlanta office, phone to my ear, as I wait for her to locate a hotel lobby where we can talk in ´privateµ for our weekly phone session.I·ve been working with Jamie for two years, as she finished college and transitioned to life inLos Angeles. She·s a 22-year-old, exotic beauty with dark hair; tan, thin and model-gorgeous.She·s also incredibly bright, sensitive, insightful, creative and funny~ although she isunaware of these gifts at the moment.Since moving to Los Angeles, she·s gotten some modeling and acting gigs and holds aglamorous executive assistant job at a tony entertainment firm. She and her wild roommatestake advantage of the all-night-every-night-party-scene; Jamie has no shortage of interestedmen. And yet this exciting lifestyle, to which most college girls in America aspire, is destroying her. The focus on appearance, status, fashion and thinness, along with nightly partying hascaused a ramping up of her eating disorder.In today·s phone call she detailed her most recent bad day. She woke up at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, hung over, stomach stuffed from an alcohol-fueled eating binge the night before.She dragged herself out of bed and set off for a 9-mile run, her first attempt of the day toundo last night·s damage. Exhausted, she pushed herself through the run, feeling slightly better afterwards. The endorphin high plus a Starbucks Venti non-fat latte fueled hermorning, but she ate nothing all day. By 4:00 she had burned many calories but consumedonly a few. The combined work stress, low blood sugar, and extreme fatigue led her to the vending machine. After downing several candy bars, her eating disorder was off and running.Unable to concentrate at work, at 6:00 she grabbed a couple slices of pizza and headed tothe local grocer, filling her cart with ice cream, frozen treats, bread, peanut butter, boxes of sweet cereal, and lots of milk. Back at her apartment she inhaled the food, and in a carb-induced trance she headed to the bathroom to empty her stomach of its contents. The sane part of her watched this ritual with revulsion, berating herself: ´This is so wasteful, Jamie. You could have fed a family for a week with what you just ate. You are sick anddisgusting!µ She cleaned up the bathroom, brushed her teeth and fell into bed, spent anddepressed. When her roommates arrived and invited her out for another night of partying,she declined, promising herself a 12-mile run in the morning.She repeated her nightly vow: ´Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I will be Good.µ

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